8 Actually Sustainable Fashion Brands to Shop
Including some Certified B-Corps that are committed to the environment.
by : Emily Latimer- Apr 1st, 2022
If you’ve spent any time on fashion TikTok, you know it’s easy to fall into the trap of wear-once, cheaply made trend pieces that look cute but don’t stand the test of time. (Marbled crop top, I’m looking at you!)
It’s no secret the fashion industry has a serious carbon footprint problem. According to the United Nations, the sector is responsible for an estimated 8 to 10 percent of global carbon emissions — more than international flights and shipping combined. Fast fashion retailers known for rock-bottom prices that suggest disposability don’t help.
But as we become more mindful of our consumption habits and the subsequent environmental impact of our purchases, Earth Month draws our attention to the planet that we share and the sustainable choices that can help keep it spinning.
Kelly Drennan is the founding executive director of Fashion Takes Action, Canada’s only non-profit organization devoted to advancing sustainability in the fashion industry through education, awareness, research and collaboration.
She says the best way to be environmentally conscious is to keep wearing the clothes already in your closet for as long as possible. “It isn’t always about buying something new,” says Drennan. “We have the obligation to reduce what we’re buying and to reuse. So buy second hand as often as possible.”
But if you are buying something new, make sure it’s sustainably made. Check out the company before buying, like with Good on You, an app that rates thousands of brands to help you discover ethical brands and see how your favourites measure up.
Do they have any certifications that signal a commitment to the environment, like 1% for the Planet or B-corp? Or is any information about their practices suspiciously hard to find? “That’s a good sign to walk away,” Drennan says.
Next time you’re looking to add another item to your wardrobe, check out these eight fashion retailers with a commitment to sustainable environmental practices.
Timeless essentials made from ethically-sourced Egyptian cotton is Kotn’s go-to style. This impact-driven clothing brand based in Toronto focuses on creating lasting products and communities. Kotn’s commitment to supply-chain transparency means you can trace your garments from farm to hanger. It’s also B-Corp certified, what’s not to love?
Our pick: Ribbed Lounge Pants, $75
Devlyn van Loon
This small-batch clothing brand has been making thoughtfully produced, and ethically made garments since 2016. They use sustainable, natural, or dead-stock fabrics to minimize waste and that will last. Their streamlined silhouettes are modern essentials that look fresh yet timeless. Made by hand in Toronto, so you know lots of love is going into each item!
Our pick: V-Neck Jumpsuit in Pine, $260
Frank And Oak
Designed in Canada, Frank And Oak has been B-Corp certified since 2019, which recognizes their pledge to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance. You can shop peacefully knowing that nearly 80 percent of Frank And Oak’s products are produced with sustainable processes and eco-friendly materials.
Our pick: The Balloon Fit Amelia Pant in Light Brown, $99.50
Forever pieces sewn to last. This slow fashion brand is proudly Canadian-made with factories located just 20-minutes from their headquarters in Toronto. Encircled uses ultra-soft, sustainably sourced OEKO-TEX® 100 certified fabric — which means no harmful substances are used in the production process.
Our pick: The Comfy Blouse, $152
Goodee is all about design for the good of the planet and the people. A community of social-conscious design enthusiasts that curates a marketplace of homewares and lifestyle products for better living. They have a few clothing items, but we’re totally blown away by their super cute home goods.
Our pick: Goodee Hoodie 2, $160
The Good Tee
The Good Tee wants to humanize the fashion industry. Founded in 2020, this company is on a mission to manufacture responsibly and support cotton farmers in India through ethical working conditions, slower production schedules, and fair deals for everyone. They’re all about transparency and openly sharing where their products come from. And let’s face it – everyone needs a plain tee.
Our pick: The Fave & Fair Unisex Tee, $39
Every year, more than 20 billion tampons and pads enter landfills and waterways — it all adds up! This Vancouver-based company is dedicated to making periods more sustainable and comfortable. Aisle entered the eco-friendly menstrual care products game early, offering reusable period products for nearly 30 years. If you didn’t know, Aisle is ranked the number one period care B-Corp in the world.
Our pick: BASE Bikini, $39
Inland is an online (and in-person) shopping platform that showcases small-batch, ethically sourced Canadian labels. They advocate for diverse representation and champion local voices through their online marketplace and bi-annual in-person popup events which are returning to Toronto this May 6 – 8 where you can meet and shop from over 40 designers – IRL. If you can’t make it, cruise around their site—you may just find your new favourite designer!
Our pick: Renee Dress in Cloud from Allison Wonderland, $250
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